Pitra Paksha – Introduction and Complete Information

 Pitra Paksha means the beginning of Shradh. Pitra Paksha is of 16 days, which starts on the full moon of Bhadrapada and ends on the new moon of Ashwin i.e. Sarva Pitra Amavasya. Pitra Paksha is the time to remember and worship the ancestors. Pitra Paksha Paksha is also called Mahalaya or Kanagat. There are three types of Rinas mentioned in the scriptures – Dev Rina, Rishi Rina and Pitra Rina. Shradh is performed in Pitra Paksha only to pay off the debt of the ancestors. According to the scriptures, our ancestors or ancestors reside on the earth in the Pitra Paksha.

They happily accept whatever is offered to them during this period with reverence. On these days, for the peace of the souls of the ancestors, worship is done with full rituals. Shraddh Paksh is also considered to be the best time to remove Pitra Dosh. It is believed that the tarpan performed during Pitra Paksha brings blessings of ancestors and there is always happiness and peace in the house.

Meaning of Pitra

Pitra Paksha or Pitra Pakh is the period of 16 days in which Hindus reverently remember their ancestors and perform Pind Daan for them. It is also known by the names of Solah Shradh, Mahalaya Paksha, Upper Paksha etc.




What is Pitra dosha ?

Jyotishacharya told that according to Brahma Vaivarta Purana, before pleasing the deities, man should please his ancestors. It is believed that if the ancestor becomes angry, then a person has to face many problems in life. According to Hindu astrology also Pitra dosha is considered to be one of the most complex horoscope doshas. People who have Pitra Dosh in their horoscope, they do not get child happiness easily. Or else the child falls into bad company. These people always have to face difficulties in job or business. There are frequent interruptions in work. There are more conflicts in the house. There is no happiness and prosperity in the house. Poverty and debt persist. Often ill and the marriage of daughter or son gets interrupted. Every year from Bhadrapada Shukla Purnima to Ashwin Krishna Amavasya Pitra Paksha Shradh is performed for the peace of ancestors. It is believed that during this time Yamraj frees the ancestors so that they can take Shradh from their families.

Pitra Dosh Shanti from Shradh – Salvation from Pitra Dosh can be achieved by performing Pind Daan, Tarpan etc. If anyone does not know the date of death of their ancestors, then those people can perform Shradh for their ancestors on the new moon day and can get peace of Pitra Dosh.


Meaning of Shradh

Vayu Purana, Matsya Purana, Garuna Purana, Vishnu Purana etc. Puranas and other scriptures like Manusmriti also tell about the importance of Shradh. According to Brahma Purana, whatever thing is given to the Brahmins by proper method in the name of the ancestors at the appropriate time or place is called Shraddha. Through Shradh, food is delivered to the ancestors for fulfillment. Food given to ancestors in Pind form is an important part of Shradh.

Why do you do Shradh?

In Hinduism, performing Shradh after death is considered very important. According to the belief, if a person does not perform Shradh and Tarpan properly, then he does not get freedom from this world and he remains in this world in the form of a ghost. Therefore, Shradh must be performed during Pitra Paksha.

On which day do Shradh?

If understood in simple words, Shradh is reverently remembered to the departed relatives on the date of their death. If a family member has died on Pratipada, then their Shradh is performed on the day of Pratipada. Similarly, the same is done on other days as well. There are also some special beliefs in this subject which are as follows:

1- Father's Shradh is done on Ashtami day and mother's on Navami day.

2- The family members who died prematurely, that is, due to some accident or suicide, their Shradh is done on the day of Chaturdashi.

3- Shradh of sadhus and sanyasis is done on the day of Dwadashi.

4- Shradh of the ancestors whose date of death is not remembered, is done on the new moon day. This day is called Sarva Pitra Shradh. Ashwin Krishna Paksha Amavasya is called Pitra Visarni Amavasya or Mahalaya. Those who do not perform Shradh and Tarpan for 15 days of Pitra Paksha, they can perform Shradh Tarpan for the sake of their ancestors. On this day all the ancestors are immersed.




How to do Shradh Tarpan

According to astrology, after bathing in the morning, to offer prayers to the ancestors, first of all take a kush in hand and meditate on the ancestors by joining both the hands and invite them to accept your worship. Offer water, sesame and flowers to the ancestors in the tarpan. Along with this, on the day the ancestors have died, make food in their name and according to your reverence and as per your capacity and donate it to Brahmins. Distribute food among crows and dogs also.

What is given in Shradh

Sesame, rice, barley etc. are given more importance in Shradh. Along with this, it is also mentioned in the Puranas that only eligible Brahmins have the right to perform Shradh. Til and Kusha have the highest importance in Shradh. The food items offered to ancestors in Shradh should be offered in the form of Pindi. The right of Shradh is also given to women including sons, brothers, grandsons, great-grandsons.

Importance of crows in Shradh

The crow is considered to be the form of ancestors. It is believed that our ancestors, taking the form of a crow, come to our house at noon on the appointed date to perform Shradh. If they do not get Shradh, they get angry. For this reason the first part of Shradh is given to the crows.

Special places of pind daan

In the scriptures, 3 places are considered most special for Pind Daan.

The first is Badrinath where there is a law of tarpan for the liberation of Pitradosh in the Brahmakapal Siddha area.

The second is Haridwar where people offer Pind Daan of ancestors near Narayani Shila.

And the third is Gaya where once a year for 16 days a Pitra Paksha fair is held. It is said that on Pitra Paksha, near Vishnupad temple on the banks of river Falgu and near Akshayavat, the ancestors get salvation.





It is more beneficial to please the ancestors before the gods. Father's work is more important than god's work. Pitra increases our lineage, by worshiping Pitra, happiness-peace, wealth-grains, fame, splendor, Lakshmi always remain in the family. Only the father provides the happiness of children. In the scriptures, Pitra is called Pitradev. Pitra Puja is done first in the auspicious work of every household. Which is done as Nandi Shradh. The time from Bhadrapada Purnima to the new moon of Ashwin (Quar) has been described as Pitra Paksha in the scriptures. In these 15 -16 days, the son who worships his father, mother or ancestors of his lineage (Tarpan, Pitra Yagya, Dhoop, Shradh). He definitely gets their blessings. It is believed that during these days, those who have Pitra Dosh must do Tri-Pindi Shradh or worship of Narayan Bali at a pilgrimage site. If you offer Kak food, then their ancestors get salvation, they get a place in Baikunth. Perform Shradh of your father-grandfather, mother, mother-in-law, grandfather, mother's father, maternal side, wife's father, your brother, sister, friend, guru, gurumata duly by reciting the mantras. Offer food to a Brahmin couple i.e. husband and wife. Father will surely bless you.

Prohibited work in Shradh Paksha

1. It is considered taboo to do well construction, stepwell, god prestige, festival, Udyapan, bride entry etc. in Pitra Paksha. No auspicious work is done during Pitra Paksha. One should not buy any new items or wear new clothes. Doing so is said to be inauspicious. During Pitra Paksha, one should also not use perfumes and beauty products.

2. Iron utensils should not be used in Pitra Paksha. It is believed that iron utensils should not be used in the food prepared for the ancestors or in which the food is served. By doing this, the ancestors get angry and there is a bad effect on the happiness, peace and prosperity of the family. Therefore, during this time you can use copper, brass or other metal utensils.

3. If you are doing Shradh for ancestors during Pitra Paksha, then you should avoid using oil on the body and consuming betel leaves. Also, if possible, the beard and hair should not be cut and the use of perfume during this time is also considered taboo in the scriptures. By doing this, the ancestors are angry, they have to face many problems in life.




What to do on Pitripaksha?

According to the scriptures, the rituals of Shradh should be strictly followed and during this 5 things must be done.

1. It is believed that during Pitra Paksha, our ancestors come to us in some form or the other. They can come around you in any form. Therefore, any animal, bird or insect that comes around your house should never be disrespected nor should they be hurt in any way.

2. During Pitra Paksha, one should avoid buying any new thing or starting any new work. No Manglik program should be organized during this time. During this, even if any good news is received, then it should be celebrated after the end of Pitra Paksha.

3. During this period food and water must be kept in a vessel outside your house. This will make it easier for homeless people, animals, birds and insects to satisfy their hunger and thirst. At this time you should help everyone in every possible way. Doing this work during Pitra Paksha gives virtuous results.

4. During Pitra Paksha, the person who is performing the rituals, especially the person performing the Tarpan, should avoid the consumption of gram, lentils, cumin, black salt, bottle gourd, mustard, cucumber and meat.

5. Black sesame must be used while doing tarpan. To please your ancestors, prepare their favorite food and offer it to Brahmin, crow, cow and dog.

Ways to Please Pitars

By pleasing the ancestors, Pitra Dosh can be easily removed. On the first day of Shradh, fast on Bhadrapada Purnima. Put good pictures of late ancestors at home or business place. Place this picture on the south-west wall or corner. After starting the day, first of all salute them. Offer them garlands every day and take their blessings by showing them incense sticks. Distribute food to the needy in his name. Donate money or material to the religious place in the name of ancestors. Take their blessings by serving elders at home or outside. On Amavasya, offer food to Brahmins by offering tarpan, donating pinds. Feed cows, dogs, ants, crows or other animals and birds.